First 2017 Bridge Completed under the Rapid Bridge Replacement Project
PITTSBURGH, PA – The opening of the Route 549 bridge, spanning Seely Creek in Jackson Township, Tioga County, marks the completion of the first bridge replaced in 2017 under the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s Rapid Bridge Replacement Project. Officials with the construction joint-venture team - Walsh/Granite JV - and the development entity - Plenary Walsh Keystone Partners - held a ribbon cutting ceremony at the bridge site on Thursday, April 6 to commemorate the milestone.
The ceremony was attended by dignitaries and emergency responders of the surrounding communities, representatives from Mansfield University and the Pennsylvania-based subcontractor who performed the replacement work for the Route 549 bridge, Glenn O. Hawbaker.
Prior to cutting the yellow ribbon, a symbolic color of the military, Walsh/Granite JV presented a donation to the Mansfield University Student Veterans Organization, a local group that provides veterans with the resources, assistance, direction and support necessary for the successful transition from military to civilian life.
The donation amount totaled the cost of supplies needed to build a veteran’s memorial on campus. The memorial will display names of Mansfield University veteran graduates and students who served in the military and died while attending Mansfield University.
“It’s important to our project team that we invest in the communities where we work and live,” said Ed Kitzman, project director for Walsh/Granite JV. “Through our work on the Rapid Bridge Replacement Project, we not only want to better the future of Pennsylvania communities by replacing bridges designed to last 100 years, but also find ways to involve veterans.”
“This project is not only an excellent opportunity to improve Pennsylvania's infrastructure, but serves as a platform to acknowledge and remember the sacrifices that were made on the behalf of this great nation,” said, Ed Dice, veteran and head of delivery for Plenary Walsh Keystone Partners.
Since commencement of the Rapid Bridge Replacement Project in mid-2015, crews have replaced over 170 bridges throughout the Commonwealth. The project team plans to replace over 200 bridges in 2017.
The Rapid Bridge Replacement Project is a public-private partnership (P3) between PennDOT and Plenary Walsh Keystone Partners (PWKP), under which PWKP will finance, design, replace, and maintain the bridges for 25 years. The P3 approach allows PennDOT to replace the bridges more quickly while achieving significant savings and minimizing impacts on motorists.
To see the bridges included in the statewide initiative and to learn more about the Rapid Bridge Replacement Project, visit www.parapidbridges.com.